July 1978

Abuse Dwarfism

Author Affiliations

University of Rochester Family Medicine Program 885 South Ave Rochester, NY 14620

Am J Dis Child. 1978;132(7):724. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1978.02120320084025

Sir.—John Money's article in the Journal (131:508-513, 1977) on abuse dwarfism was an appreciated and valuable addition to the pediatric literature. However, there are several aspects of that article and Gardner's editorial in the Journal (131:505-507, 1977) that deserve comments.

First, readers interested in this problem would have been aided by an additional reference to this case that appeared in the book, Childhood Deprivation,1 which was reviewed in the Journal (130:219, 1976). This case was described in great detail in the prologue as "battered Freddy."

Second, evidence in the literature regarding calorie deprivation as an underlying cause for failure to thrive was not stressed. Even with an original history of "normal" dietary intake, further investigation of many families has shown starvation.2.3 I have personally encountered a number of such cases in Rochester, New York. In Money's case, a move to an aunt's house was associated with weight

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